Hong Kong

Day 1: 22nd January 2011

My flight via Malaysia Airlines from KL is at 9:30am. Touch down around 12:40 pm. The journey only took 3hrs 20 mins. First impression its cold here 11 celcius. The good part is that the bus is providing a free wifi. Can't wait to explore Hong Kong.

I am taking the Airport bus A21 to my hotel at Tsim Sha Tsui, just to get the sample of Hong Kong. Though a bit slow compared to the MTR but nice and scenic view. Journey is about 45 minutes and it is only HKD33, 1/3 of the MTR rate.

Arrived at the hotel in Nathan Road around 2:30pm. Check-in and after put all my luggage in the room straight away I took the MTR to Central for a trip to Victoria Peak. I opted for the tram ride although you can get to the peak through a bus ride. The choice is yours, climbing to the peak via a tram is a bit expensive however it give a breathtaking view of Hong Kong along the ride. The queue is quit long with a lot of tourist. Luckily the wait is only 20 minutes as the frequency between the tram is about 10 minutes intervals. I took an effort to walk from Central to the tram station at Garden Road, passing through some of Hong Kong prominent landmarks i.e. Bank of China, Standard Chartered, HSBC etc. Well the ride is very smooth and once reached the peak I can see a nice view of Hong Kong.

Its colder at the Peak that forced me to wear my fleece jacket. Nothing much to do except shopping and visit the Madame Tussaud. The best part is there is a Rock Shop at the Peak Galleria. And as usual buy the shot glass and some t-shirt. Take some break at the Peak McD eating the fries and drink the hot chocolate.

After about 2hrs at the Peak, I take the tram down and ride the 15C bus to Central Pier to experience the famous Star Ferry ride. A traditional boat connecting Hong Kong island with the Mainland. I opted for the journey from Pier 7 to Tsim Sha Tsui, as they said the view was nice especially looking at the island and Kowloon.

Arrived Tsim Sha Tsui, take some walk to the Avenue of Star for the famous Symphony of Lights Show. The show is conducted every night at 8pm that run for 15 minutes. Basically its about formation of light from building in the island, that was synchronised to a tune of music. Very impressive and interesting show. But the place was too crowded.

Well after the show its time for dinner and I am taking the Arabic dish at Ziafat, Nathan Road. The food is not that nice, however due to empty stomach I manage to finish all of it.

After dinner, quarter to 10pm I decided to call it a day and get ready for my Macau excursion tomorrow.

Day 2: 23 January 2011

My second day started with a day trip to Macau. Detail of the trip please refer to my Macau article.

After the Macau trip, I arrived Hong Kong quarter to five. After the immigration clearance, I decided to take a tram for a different angle of experience. The tram located opposite the Western Market which is inter-connected with the Shun Tak Centre via a pedestrian bridge. In Hong Kong most of the building and landmarks are inter-connected with a pedestrian bridge or underpass. I believe this is a standard infrastructure that should be made available to a city in order to encourage people to walk and utilised the public transport. The scenario is also the same with other big cities like Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok. However KL is still lack of those facilities. Anyway we are catch-up as more and more such facilities is being planned to be constructed in the city center.

Anyway my tram ride started from the Western Market to Causeway Bay where I am taking the eastbound route. Basically one of a traveler blogger had suggested the route as it is the best way to sample Hong Kong as I pass almost all of Hong Kong prominent landmarks. And the best part is the price is very cheap only cost you HK$2 for any of the route from start towards the end. But sometimes the tram ride can be very crowded especially at the hour that I am taking. Anyway its very smooth and enjoyable. Arrived Causeway Bay after about 40 minutes ride. At Causeway Bay just doing some window shopping to various malls around i.e. Sogo, Times Square etc. All malls are crowded and the shopping was fabulous with a lot of new year sales.

After exploring various malls I make a move to Masjid Ammar and Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Center for my dinner. This place is famous with its halal Cantonese food which you must try especially you are in a Chinese country. I found the food is tasty however the environment is quite typical of a Chinese restaurant. The center is located at 40, Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai district. Apart from a walk, you can reach the center by taking a tram and make a stop at station 47E for eastbound route or 52W for westbound route (Henessey Road). Then make a short walk to Wan Chai Road via a walkway between the W Square and the basketball court. Cross the Wan Chai Road to Tan Yan Street and at the end of the road turn left to Oi Kwan Road and the Masjid is located after a couple of blocks from the junction on your left.

After the nice dinner, I take a tram back to Central and board the MTR to Mongkok for Ladies Market. Located in the heart of Mongkok District, the section of Tung Choi Street between Argyle Street and Dundas Street is known by the locals as "Ladies Market" or "Women's Street". It is mainly "soft" goods that you would find there - clothing, clothing, and clothing. Well, there are also dolls, small rugs, towels, popouri, etc.; items that most men don't write home about. (But then, there're some watches and stuff.) Well its a typical night market that we have in any of the South East Asia cities. Near the Ladies Market, there are also Mongkok Computer Shopping Center is just around the corner, and one street over is Sai Yeung Choi Street South with many stores selling consumer electronics. After buying some souvenirs, I decided to end the day.

Day 3: 24 January 2011

Wake-up a bit late as I do not have any specific program for the day. After freshen-up and take some light snacks I decided to go to Stanley Market. Located quite far from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong City. The journey via the bus is very breathtaking with a view of the Southern part of Hong Kong. The journey from Central took me around one hour passing by the Ocean Park, Repulse Bay and various other beaches in Hong Kong. The sea fronting area seems to be occupied with various luxury villas, bungalows and condominiums. Actually nothing much to do in Stanley, the market is very small and a bit pricey. And then down the road is a small shopping center plus a historical building that was moved there stone by stone. The rustic building, Murray House, is now home to a few fine restaurants. Not far from the building there is the Blake Pier. Both historical sites are a restored monument that was previously located in the Hong Kong City. Normally the place will be crowded during the Dragon Boat Festival in June.

After about an hour there, I decided to go back to Hong Kong take my lunch at the Islamic Center for a halal dim sum. A very nice lunch for me. Then I decided to take the MTR to CityGate Factory outlet. To the outlet just take the MTR to Tung Chung Station and take exit C. The outlet is home to more than 80 international brand like AIX, CK, Levi's, Nautica, Ralph Lauren etc. After arriving, of course do some shopping. Spend about three hours there and after that went straight to hotel for a rest. At the same time preparing for the conference next day.

Day 4: 25 January 2011

It's my conference day. Well forgot to mentioned, the reason why I am here is not totally for vacation, but more for a SCADA Asia Conference. I am presenting a paper entitled "Enhancing SCADA Connectivity and Communication. This is my first presentation outside of the country. The presentation went well and I received a positive response from the audience. On side of the conference various meetings and discussions were held with some of the delegates.

After the conference, I just spend sometime to visit the Temple Street night market also known as Men's Street to look for final souvenirs. Again another typical night market. Smaller than Ladies Market, however with more items on sale. There are more than a hundred stalls with colourful lights in the market. There are carts bulging with goods from clothing to mobile phones and watches. Stalls have items mainly for men, jeans, t-shirts, pants, lighters, shoes, condoms and men's accessories. Cheap second hand goods such as cassettes, video tapes, magazines, antiques are also sold here. Like in other night markets in South East Asia, prices can always be negotiated by bargaining.

Then after the market shopping, I decided to just buy a kebab for my dinner.

Day 5: 26 January 2011

First part of the day until morning tea, I joined the conference. At about 11 am I check-out from hotel and take the bus to Kowloon Station for a city check-in. My flight via Cathay Pacific is at 3:30pm. So still have some time, I decided to finish the day with some final visit in Hong Kong. Take the Star Ferry ride to Wan Chai and visit the Golden Bauhinia monument before taking some dim sum at the Islamic Center. Then take the airport express went straight to the airport from Hong Kong Station. A very smooth journey of about 24 minutes only. At the airport managed to do some final shopping at the Disney Merchandise Store and then straight to the waiting lounge. At 3:15 board the airplane and arrived KL around 7:00pm.

With the arrival, officially that's the end of my Hong Kong trip. A fully paid trip that really satisfy me. My journey to Hong Kong is full with excitement.

Location:Nathan Rd,,Hong Kong


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